FREDERICTON, NB–As New Brunswick’s deficit grows, New Brunswick Premier David Alward is under mounting pressure to break a campaign promise not to raise taxes such as the H-S-T.
In an unusual move, the New Brunswick Business Council is advocating an increase in the 13 per cent sales tax as well as a
hike in the corporate tax rate as ways to generate revenue and address the deficit.
President Susan Holt says unless government raises revenues it won’t be able to maintain services and balance budgets.
The deficit for the current fiscal year was originally projected at $183 million but is now expected to top $411 million.
Rod Hill, an economist at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, says raising the H-S-T would adversely affect the
Instead, Hill wants the government to increase personal income taxes.
While Alward has said a referendum on a sales tax increase is possible before next year’s election, he says it’s premature to
decide while budget preparations are still underway.
The provincial budget is expected March 26th.